Sanford Health Implements Electronic Medical Records in Ghana

Sanford Partners with South Dakota-based DocuTAP

(SIOUX FALLS, SD) - Sanford Health has implemented a custom electronic medical records (EMR) system for a World Clinic location in Ghana, Africa.

With the help of Sioux Fall-based DocuTAP, a provider of EMR and practice management (PM) software, Sanford equipped its location in Cape Coast with this technology.

Integration of EMR systems in developing countries is a frequent topic among doctors, health-care providers and academic scholars.  The availability of a reliable EMR system often serves as a catalyst for development in health-care delivery.    

“We’ve seen how EMR systems can transform the medical care practice and greatly enhance decision-making processes for healthcare providers,” said Jim Slack, Sanford World Clinics vice president. “However, implementing an EMR system or any health-care information system in a developing country can be a daunting task.”

In August 2011, Sanford World Clinics announced the construction and operation of a 10-site network of sustainable primary-care clinics (for all ages) to be completed in Ghana over a four-year period.  Currently, two clinics have been completed; two more are expected to open in the coming weeks.

DocuTAP’s first EMR system implementation took place at Sanford’s busy Cape Coast clinic two weeks ago.  Opened in January 2012 as Sanford’s first clinic in Ghana, the practice sees more than 1,000 patients per week. The clinic provides general health-care services to area children and adults and includes the diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses in the region, especially malaria, diarrhea and respiratory health issues. 

The DocuTAP system can complete an entire patient visit from online check-in through billing in less time than ever.   The company’s chief executive officer, Eric McDonald, traveled to Ghana to oversee the implementation and launch. 

Said McDonald: “It is a true privilege for our company to contribute on a global scale by partnering with Sanford Health in its World Clinic initiative.  EMR systems offer tremendous benefits on care delivery in developing countries in spite of potential implementation challenges.  From improved patient care to enhanced clinic management, the benefits of a reliable EMR system are immediate.  DocuTAP’s EMR will give providers in Ghana greater efficiency in accessing accurate and timely information to care for their patients and provide data to efficiently manage the clinics.” 

Launched in 2007, the Sanford World Clinics program is an initiative to develop a series of pediatric clinics in areas in the United States and around the world that lack sufficient primary-care services. In many developing countries, however, the most effective way to improve the health of children is treating the entire family. To accommodate this need, Sanford expanded its mission to include the potential for hundreds of community clinics to serve millions of people.  Sanford operates World Clinic sites in Ghana, Duncan, OK and Oceanside, CA.  Future sites are planned for Ireland, Mexico, Israel and Klamath Falls, OR.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and consists of two long-standing organizations that merged in 2009. Sanford is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in seven states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ireland, Ghana, Israel and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 35 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and nearly 1,200 physicians in 70 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 25,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's $400 million gift in 2007, the largest gift ever to a health care organization in America, and then a $100 million gift in 2010. These gifts are making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, please visit sanfordhealth.org.

 

 

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Contact:

Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 / timothy.gerszewski@sanfordhealth.org   
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